Jersey City’s planning and zoning boards continue to be busy hearing new applications, but local real estate observers can’t be blamed for wondering exactly how many approved projects will actually get built. In a hot real estate market, “flipping” an approved development site becomes more attractive; although, the impact of the practice on the local community isn’t always a positive thing.
It appears a now-vacant development site along a Downtown thoroughfare is one of those flips. Earlier this year, Jersey Digs broke the news about a new proposal at 270 Newark Avenue. The project, which included no parking spaces, was to consist of five residential units on the upper floors of the five-story building, along with 1,110 square feet of commercial space on the ground level.
The developer, simply named 270-272 Newark Avenue LLC, is a subsidiary of the KABR Group. They won approvals from the city’s planning board in February, but the eventual construction of the new ground-up project required tearing down a three-story brick property that was most recently home to the Golden Grille restaurant and stood at the site for almost 150 years.
That demolition started in late May and followers of our Instagram account had some strong opinions about whether tearing down the historical building was necessary. The property itself is surrounded by the Harsimus Cove, Van Vorst Park, and Paulus Hook Historic Districts but does not fall within any of them and is zoned for NC – Neighborhood Commercial.
Earlier this month, a for sale sign popped up at the property and the owners have officially listed the land for $2.99 million. KABR Group acquired the premises at the end of 2015 for $1.93 million, so obtaining the approvals and getting their desired sale price could turn them a nice profit.
But in the meantime, residents have lost a historical structure and must look at a fenced-off vacant lot in the short term. That reality comes just a few short months after Mayor Steve Fulop issued an executive order placing a six-month freeze on accepting demolition permit applications, which led to a lawsuit from several developers. Both those points became moot in May when the city council adopted new rules on tearing down buildings that now require all property owners submit to a historic preservation review when seeking a demolition permit.
KABR, which lists the project in their portfolio on their website, has not responded to a request for comment as to their immediate plans for 270 Newark Avenue.